MMIWG Inquiry to visit Happy Valley-Goose Bay first week of March

Inquiry is on the cusp of submitting its request for a two-year extension says Audette.

Justin Brake
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womenr will visit Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador during the first week of March says Comm. Michèle Audette.

Comm. Qajaq Robinson of Igloolik, Nunavut will be on hand to hear the testimonies of families who wish to share stories of their loved ones.

The inquiry is in Moncton, New Brunswick this week and will travel to Rankin Inlet next week.

Audette told reporters Wednesday the inquiry is on the cusp of submitting its request for a two-year extension.

She said she’s “positive something is happening,” and that last night she “saw some concrete documents” and is waiting for it to be translated into French so she can thoroughly consider it.

“There’s a beautiful process that we put in place where we, first of all, present to the minister and the other order-in-council across Canada, the national Indigenous organizations and also the National Family Advisory Circle,” she said. “We need to discuss with them and exchange and have a beautiful debate on that before it’s officially presented.”

Asked what she can say to families in the Atlantic region who could not attend the hearings in Membertou or Moncton — and would like to see hearings closer to their home — Audette said, “it’s something that we need to discuss with the other commissioners, but more time of course will give more time to do a proper job, and a good job.”

From the time it was launched in September 2016 the inquiry has been criticized for being disorganized, not adequately supporting families and for not reaching homeless women, as well as those incarcerated. There has also been complaints about not having the ability to compel authorities to re-open cases where families have not been given answers to the disappearance or death of their loved one.

The inquiry has also seen the departure of more than 20 staffers, including top level officials — most recently the resignation of executive director Debbie Reid in January.